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Rochester Housing Authority Names New Director of Operations, Shifts Some Job Duties

Willie Pass was named director of operations
of the Rochester Housing Authority.
Provided photo.

The Rochester Housing Authority has a new executive, and some officials have new roles.

The RHA’s board of commissioners announced May 28 that Willie Pass has been appointed director of operations.

Pass, who served as chief financial officer at the Marin County Housing Authority in Marin, California, has nearly 20 years experience in the field of low-income housing, according a news release announcing the appointment.

Pass replaces Sinclair Carrington, interim director of finance.

The board of commissioners also announced changes in the roles and responsibilities of several members of the RHA’s shared leadership team. The team was implemented three years ago to spread executive responsibility to ensure the organization’s long-term success.

  • Interim executive director Shawn Burr has been appointed acting executive director. Burr will focus on driving meaningful change in the community through affordable housing initiatives, capital projects and creating development opportunities to continue the agency’s mission long into the future;
  • Compliance, diversity and inclusion officer Cynthia Herriott has been appointed interim deputy executive director. She will maintain her current duties in addressing employee and stakeholder concerns around compliance matters. Her new role includes overseeing the public housing, leasing operations and resident services departments;
  • Executive personnel administrator Rashondra Martin will maintain her current role overseeing the human resources and information technology departments.

The RHA, established in 1955 as an independent public corporation by New York State Public Housing Law, serves more than 22,000 lower-income families, seniors and disabled residents in the five-county Greater Rochester area. Approximately 20% of people served reside in RHA public housing units, while others receive assistance for eligible, private housing.

The RHA dealt with controversy over the past months. In February, former RHA chairman George Moses and former Rochester City Councilmember Adam McFadden were charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. In October 2018, Moses was charged with making false statements to the FBI.

McFadden pleaded guilty in April to federal charges. McFadden was removed from City Council. He is scheduled to be sentenced in June.